Eating Pistachios May Help Reduce Cardiovascular Events


A new study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says eating pistachio nuts decreased total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol compared with a control diet that had no nuts.

One of the control groups was fed a step 1 (low fat) diet without pistachios. Two other groups were fed the same diet with low doses of pistachios (32-63 gms/day) and high doses of pistachio nuts (63-126 gms/day). The pistachios were low salt and were fed as snacks and incorporated into recipes.


There was a significant lowering of total and LDL cholesterol in the pistachio diet groups and it was dose related with the higher pistachio intake having a greater effect. The authors concluded that the magnitude of reduction in LDL cholesterol for the high-dose pistachio eaters was equivalent to that of statins and would result in a 9-12% reduction in heart disease risk.

It should be noted that the study group was small (10 women and 18 men) and the study was sponsored by a grant from the California Pistachio Commission along with the NIH and other funders.

I wonder if eating pistachio ice-cream will have the same beneficial effect?

(Addendum: I just looked up the calories in 1 cup of pistachio nuts - 685 yikes!)